Santa Clara County Voter's Guide On Children's Issues

Cupertino Union School District Governing Board, Vote for 3

Ava Chiao

I believe all students have the potential to be successful. The school board, parents, teachers, and our community, can provide our students a sense of belonging. When students have a sense of belonging, they have the most potential to thrive in school. Schools, with our community partners, are the focal point to support our families to thrive.

  1. In a recent poll by Choose Children 2022 of likely general election voters, more than half of parents with children under age 18 say they are likely to move out of the Bay Area in the next few years. What do you think are the top three issues affecting our children and families and how will you make our region a place where all families can thrive?

    Housing prices, inflation, and the pandemic has made it difficult for families to thrive. Affordable housing is the probably biggest reason. Having children brings additional costs and it makes it more difficult for young families with middle to low incomes make it difficult to live in our expensive Bay area.
    With the pandemic we had to quarantine and limit our social interactions. Some people did not get the help or enough mental wellbeing. Also, many people lost their jobs, and this has impacted their livelihood.
    As a school board member, I can focus on helping community members that need the most help. As a district we can provide try to provide affordable spaces for families.

  2. As we have learned over the past three years, without quality, affordable, childcare, parents can’t go to work. What will you do to address challenges accessing childcare and preschool programs in our diverse communities?

    In Cupertino Union School District, we have only two elementary school sites that have a pre-school program called the Cuperdoodle program. We can increase the number of pre-schools with option for families with low income to participate at a lower or subsidized rate, and we should look at what national or state funding is available that could help provide those subsidies.

    We can also organize more community school social events to build a stronger, more inclusive community, and we could look at how families and neighbors can work together in shared carpooling to ease the logistics and build community bonds.

  3. Much of the student achievement gap has been linked to the opportunity gap that children in low-income families and children of color confront (e.g., lack of access to healthy food, preschool, tutors, and enrichment activities). If elected, what will you do to increase equity of opportunity?

    We could ask our middle school students to volunteer to go back to their elementary schools to help tutor younger students under the guidance of teachers after school. We should have free after school program for all students working with Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. Currently, the Cupertino Union School District food service is free and self sufficient with food made from scratch. We need to increase equity of opportunity by using data to drive where more money and attention should be given to those who needs it the most. This should not just come from the district, but from the community as well.

  4. What steps will you take to support inclusion and outcomes for children with special needs or with disabilities and their families to be fully included in our community?

    When students with special needs or diasbilities should be supported to their Individual Education Plan and mainstreamed as much as possible. As a district, we need to ensure our schools can provide a welcoming environment and families feel belonging in the community.

  5. There is a mental health crisis among children, youth, and those who care for and educate them. If elected, how will you use the resources of your new role to improve access to mental and behavioral health services?

    Coming out of the pandemic, we need to look at everyone with kindness and more empathy. We need to look, at a systematic level, how can we support our them. As an educator, I have seen parents, students, and educators needing mental and behavioral health services. And students are getting more used to being back in-person at school which is an additional stressor. As school board member, I would work to have policies that allow multiple ways of support for everyone by bringing in our community partners. We need to ensure adults and students have the tools to be balanced so we all can thrive in our community.